• Written By Chaitanyesh Rudracharya
  • Last Modified 19-07-2022

Vice President, Prime Minister and Central Council of Ministers 


Vice President, Prime Minister and Central Council of Ministers: The Vice President of India holds the second highest office, after the Indian President. On the other hand, the Prime Minister is the real head of the state while the council of ministers is the highest executive body which has the responsibility of advising the President of India.  

In this article, let’s examine the powers the Vice President, Prime Minister and the Council of Ministers have. 

Vice President: Powers 

The framers of the Indian Constitution borrowed the concept of the Vice President from the American Constitution. Here are the powers: 

  1. If a vacancy occurs in the office of the President of India for any reason, the Vice President steps in as the acting President. 
  1. He is the ex-officio chairman of the Rajya Sabha. This means he has the same powers as the speaker of the Lok Sabha. 
  1. In the event of stepping in due the President’s unavailability, he can’t discharge the duties as the chairman of the Rajya Sabha. 

In reality, the Vice President doesn’t enjoy as much power as the President.  

Also Read: The Indian President and his powers

The Prime Minister: Powers 

Though the Indian Constitution makes way for a President and a Vice President, it invests real authority with the Prime Minister. Here are some of the powers he enjoys: 

  1. He sends a list of ames to the President for appointment as ministers. 
  1. He is the one who distributes portfolios to the ministers and also has the powers to shuffle the ministries. 
  1. He presides over the cabinet meetings and can even change the decisions taken. 
  1. He can also suggest to the President the resignations of his ministers and also directs the functioning of the ministers. 
  1. He can also resign anytime he deems fit and ask the President to dissolve the Cabinet. 
  1. He is the political head of the armed forces and the leader of the ruling party. 

Council of Ministers 

The Council of Ministers is the highest executive body of the Indian Government. The Prime Minister is the head of the council. 

Articles 74 and 75 of the Indian Constitution talk about the Council of Ministers. The members of the Council of Ministers appointed by the President based on the advice given by the Prime Minister. It is to be noted that they form 15% of the total strength of the Lok Sabha. A member of the council will no more remain a member if he is not a member of the Parliament for six continuous months. 

The council of ministers has the power to advise the President of India and the President is bound to honour the advice given by it.  While the council of ministers enjoys a lot of powers, it also has a lot of responsibility. The members are collectively responsible to the Lok Sabha. In other words, a minister who loses the confidence of the lower house has to resign. This is ascertained by the passing of a no-confidence motion, which essentially means the minister loses confidence in the Lok Sabha. 

Different Types of Ministers 

There are different types of ministers in practice. But it is to be noted that the Indian Constitution doesn’t provide any such hierarchy. Here is how the ministers are ranked: 

  1. Cabinet Ministers: Appearing at the topmost rung, he is a part of the Cabinet. 
  1. Minister of State with independent charge: A Minister of State is one who does not report to a Cabinet Minister. He attends the meeting of the Cabinet only when a matter pertaining to his department is up for discussion. 
  1. Minister of State: Next is the Minister of State. As opposed to a Minister of State with independent charge, he reports to a cabinet minister. It is to be noted that the word is allotted to him by the cabinet minister himself. 
  1. Deputy Minister: He too works under a cabinet minister and the work is allotted to him by the cabinet minister. 

We hope this article on the Vice President, Prime Minister and Central Council of Ministers helps you understand the powers they have. 

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